Inquiries, February 2012. Abstract
Studies have shown that prenatal care helps to reduce maternal mortality through identification of potential risks earlier, thus, allowing planning for safe delivery. In Nepal, most births take place at home and many, particularly in rural areas do meet the recommended four prenatal visits. This paper aims to assess utilization and associated factors of prenatal care uptake among Nepali women. This study presents findings from the analyses of Nepal Demographics and Health Survey 2006 data. We used “utilization of prenatal-care by women” as a key factor in maternal mortality. 72.2% of mothers (n= 4182) sought some kind of prenatal-care. Utilization of prenatal-care was associated with many factors: age of mother, level of education, ecological region and place of residence (p <.001).Similarly, women‟s survival of previous child, knowledge about family planning and abortion, wanted last child, total number of pregnancies, smoking habit, and preparation for delivery were significantly associated with prenatal care (p <.001). Our results suggested that there was a huge difference in utilization of prenatal-care among different group of population. Government and various non-for-profit organizations have carried out interventions aimed at both local and national level to encourage people to seek prenatal care, but outcome has not been as expected. Interventional approaches and policies should be put in place to make reliable prenatal-care easily accessible to disadvantaged group at free or low cost. Also, authorities need to emphasize not only in implementing of interventional programs but also on keeping track of their success rates and drawbacks.